With Fantasy Premier League (FPL) live for 2022/23, we’ll be welcoming back our stellar team of Pro Pundits and Hall of Famers for the new campaign.
We’ll be hearing from a different writer every day in the aftermath of the FPL relaunch, to get their initial thoughts on the pricing and rule changes.
Our writers will be providing regular articles and team reveals throughout the new season, with only Premium Members able to access every single one.
Next up is three-time top 200 finisher and two-time champion of India, Lateriser, who will be writing for us every Gameweek throughout the season.
And we’re back!
It feels like only yesterday that we closed the curtains on what was a marathon season, given the number of curveballs and Double Gameweeks we had.
On a personal note, I was delighted with how things panned out as I finished in 1,047th place overall. Gameweek 38 was very kind to me as both purchases – James Maddison (now £8.0m) and Callum Wilson (now £7.5m) – brought in double-digit hauls that led to 100 points and a 16k Gameweek rank.
Looking back over last season, I pretty much stuck to a pre-decided strategy. Having had a horrendous 2020/21 campaign, I realised that the times when I go against the crowd usually occur in the second half of the season, with regular Gameweek ranks under 50k.
This meant that I curbed my instincts during the first ten Gameweeks and stuck to a template, keeping with the crowd until at least ten weeks of subconscious data and eye tests get stored in my head, ready to go against the curve.
An opportunity to play aggressively
Before the game’s recent launch, it’s what I thought I would do again. Once I had a look at the fixtures, I realised that the best two teams have a great start to the season. It would be quite logical to go along with the template and play the ‘long game’ with these value picks – as already discussed online, the premium full-backs offer immense value.
Then the game launched and this little paragraph really caught my attention:
‘Unlimited free transfers can also be made between Sat 12 Nov 19:00 and Mon 26 Dec 19:00 when the Premier League season has been adjusted to accommodate the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.’
This is quite a big macro factor. Essentially, we don’t have to think beyond Gameweek 16 at all and have two bites at making a team until then.
Then there is an extra Wildcard that everyone has to use in the gap before Gameweek 17. Given this added rule, there are a few trickle-down effects.
In a normal season, when deploying our Wildcard anywhere between Gameweeks 2-10, we’re building a very long-term team. One that will stick for at least 20 rounds until we usually use the second later on, around the Double Gameweek season.
This time, no matter what, you don’t need to look past Gameweek 16. The only things to carry forward, post-World Cup, are your team value and remaining chips.
For me, this means I can start the season more aggressively, target some fixtures and go ‘haul-chasing’. If things don’t work out, I’d then have no qualms deploying the Wildcard very early on. Additionally, as each team can now make five substitutions in a Premier League match, you can even look to ignore the bench early season and build unbalanced, lopsided teams that focus on targeting particular occasions.
Tread with caution with Chelsea
Whilst it would now take a lot to lead Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers away from ‘big at the back’ with explosive premium defenders, it’s worth noting that the game has also given us some cheap defensive assets who offer immense value.
It is way too early to be discussing a set-and-forget draft because we have so much to learn in pre-season: Manchester City will be playing with a proper number nine, Liverpool have a new-look front three, Chelsea are seemingly losing their entire defence and Manchester United have a new manager at the helm.
All things considered, I still see myself starting with five players from Man City and Liverpool but there are a couple of things that have caught my attention in terms of ‘opportunity’ and ‘tread with caution’.
For example, be careful with Chelsea’s defence. They have lost their best centre-back to Real Madrid and are seemingly going to lose a couple more from their backline. Due to this, there are murmurs of Thomas Tuchel potentially reverting to a four-man defence.
All things considered, their full-backs still offer tremendous value at £6.0m but the early fixtures don’t exactly scream ‘clean sheet’ to me. I am also questioning Chelsea’s elite defence status, given the huge reshuffling of personnel and system.
Thomas Tuchel is a manager not historically known for supreme defences and applied a ‘horses for courses’ approach when he first arrived at the club. Now he may look to evolve their tactics. I’ve nothing against Chelsea here, it is just something I’m monitoring closely.
Target the strong Spurs start
Check out more initial reaction from Lateriser and co on The FPL Wire here.